Andrew Sheng is a scholar and high-level government official who has succinctly and hilariously explained how the recent global economic meltdown came about – as I wrote in this blog a while ago, it was basically brought about by all-round greed of the ‘monkey’ variety (read Sheng’s article). He has saved me a lot of trouble. For those of my readers who cannot wade through ‘sophisticated’ economic jargon to get to the heart of the matter, let me leave the assurance that it all happened exactly as Sheng has described: truth has always been stranger than fiction (or rather, great writers pick up cues from all the bizarre truths they see around them). Only, he might have explained the ‘herd instinct’ (which is, believe it or not, very strong among the rich and ‘educated’ – meaning MBAwallahs, of course, not the really wise) and ‘domino effect’ in a little more detail, though I guess that would have made the article drearily long, and robbed it of much flavour. And he might have quoted Abraham Lincoln, too: ‘You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all the people some of the time, but you can’t fool all the people all the time’. Alas, hotshot MBAs thought they could! That is why that line at the end of Sheng’s article is priceless – a monkey in an Armani suit is still a monkey (I could sue him for stealing my line… this is something I have said a thousand times in my classes!). Such monkeys impress only other monkeys like themselves. The problem with the world today is that there are too many greedy monkeys around, all flaunting MBAs and the latest boys’ toys, and they manage to rise very high up the corporate ladder before people begin to find out how harmful such monkeys are… as the wag said, the only thing we learn from history is that we never learn anything from history (it is not just a pretty coincidence that as a rule those who aim to be MBAs already find history 'uncool' by early teenage)!
P.S., May 15: For those who still imagine MBAs know and do something worthwhile, here is an eye-opening link. Of course, those who don't want to have their eyes opened...! many thanks to Navin Rustagi for this link.